i am

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harlem, usa
same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. mjt975@msn.com.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Guilty Verdict in Ohio High School Rape Case

two high school football players from ohio were found guilty of raping an inebriated 16 year-old girl at a raucous party last august. judge thomas lipps ruled sunday in juvenile court steubenville high school students trent mays & ma'lik richmond are 'adjudicated delinquent' on all three counts, which is equivalent to a finding of guilty in adult court.

the 17 year-old mays & 16 year-old richmond were charged with digitally penetrating the west virginia girl - first in a car, then in a house. they could be held in a juvenile jail until they turn 21. both of the teenagers offered their apologies & expressed their remorse in court after the judge ruled on their crimes.  

said mays, "i'd like to apologize to her family, the community, no pics should have been sent. that's all sir." richmond said, "i'd like to apologize to you people. i had no intentions to do anything, i'm sorry to put you through this. i'm sorry, i didn't..." he broke down crying. afterwards, the mother of the victim's mother gave a statement to the media.

she spoke anonymously, "it did not matter what school you went to, what city you lived in, or what sport you've played. human compassion is not taught by a teacher, coach or parent. it is a god-given gift instilled in all of this. you displayed not only a lack of this compassion, but a lack of any moral code. your decisions that night affected countless lives including those most dear to you."

she said, "you were your own accuser through social media you chose to publish your criminal conduct on. this does not define who my daughter is. she will persevere, grow & move on. i have pity for you both. i hope you fear the lord, repent for your actions & ask for his forgiveness."

this case divided the community in a small town amid allegations more students should have been charged & led to questions about the influence of the football team, a local source of pride. after the guilty verdicts, ohio's attorney general said he will convene a grand jury to investigate whether other people should be charged in the case.

activist groups have questioned why people who knew about the rape weren't charged under state law requiring people to report crimes. attorney general mike dewine said, "this community desperately needs to have this behind them but this community also desperately needs to know justice was done & that no stone was left unturned."       

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